Everyday products that may be affecting your fertility: How to detox safely

Infertility has been on the increase in the last 20 years and although infertility can be caused by many things, including a poor diet, environmental toxins, stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances and general poor health, a growing number of experts, myself included, are beginning to suspect that everyday bodycare products may also play a role.


Many of us are unaware that the products we use everyday on our bodies or in our homes could be adversely affecting our fertility. This is because many of the toiletries we use on our bodies are made from the same chemicals used in industrial processes and many of those have been shown to be hormone disruptors in both men and women. Take propylene glycol, for example, a solvent used in hair care products, deodorant and make up. Did you know that it is also the main ingredient in antifreeze?


Studies show that many of the chemicals found in beauty products may be linked to health problems, including hormone disruption and even birth defects and what makes these even more alarming is that your exposure to these everyday products can build up unnoticed over the years because it is only when these synthetic substances are used frequently that they start to accumulate in the body.


The main culprits include parabens, phthalates, talc, triclosan and surfactants. Parabens are found in most body care products and have been shown to affect natural levels of oestrogen, making them a hormone disrupting chemical. Phthalates are one of many ingredients found in fragrances, hair spray, make up nail polish and shampoo and they have also been shown to be hormone disruptors in both men and women. Talc is found in body and face powders and is a known carcinogen. Triclosan is found in toothpaste, soap and body wash and is another hormone disruptor and surfactants, which are found in personal care products that foam can pose serious health risks including adversely affecting reproductive health.


To reduce the toxic load on your body I suggest that you and your partner look at the products you normally use on your body every day and check the labels to see how many synthetic ingredients they contain. Throw out products that you are suspicious of and look for healthy alternatives.  Also have a look through other household products, such as air fresheners, bathroom cleaners and bleach etc. Think about how toxic they are and look for natural alternatives in health shops and supermarkets. Finally, you may also want to consider a gentle detox programme to rid yourself and your partner of any accumulated toxic load. This is especially important when you are planning for pregnancy and in my latest book Getting Pregnant Faster you’ll find plenty of advice on how to detox your diet and lifestyle in the preconception period.

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